Basic Cold Broccoli Salad (with Blue Cheese, Bacon, Cranberries and Cashews)

Cold Broccoli Salad with Blue Cheese, Bacon, Cranberries and Cashews
About twice a week I stock up on several bunches of fresh broccoli. It is a lot like chicken: A basic food that can be prepared in a variety of ways, all equally delicious.

A few weeks ago, I posted my recipe for Basic Warm Broccoli Salad. I probably prepare this at least twice a month, in a variety of ways. The same goes for Basic Cold Broccoli Salad.

In short broccoli is the foundation for whatever I have on hand: Chicken, ham, beef, shrimp (not so often these days); cheddar, blue, Parmesan cheese; raisins, cranberries, apples; and walnuts, almonds, pecans. Broccoli + protein + fruit = tasty.

Broccoli is a lot like a good white blouse: You can mix and match it and it never lets you down.

Last night, I matched and mixed the last of this week's broccoli with blue cheese, bacon bits, cranberries and cashews for a crunchy supper salad.

Cold Broccoli Salad (serves two)

For the salad
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion (fresh or dried)
  • 1/8 cup bacon bits (fresh is best)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons blue cheese bits
  • 1/4 cup cashews. coarsely chopped

For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons cider or fruity balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, reserving cashews. In a smaller bowl, blend mayo, vinegar and sugar with a small whip or fork. Blend with salad. Chill for at least 90 minutes.

Before serving, top with chopped cashews. Since the cashews are most likely already salted, there is no need to add more salt.

This makes a great side salad for a chicken sandwich. I often eat it as is, with no accompaniment.


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